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Sparkle GeForce 8400GS 256 MB DDR3 PCI with Native HDMI Graphics Card SFPC84GS256U2LP

3.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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  • PCI bus design
  • Ultra Silent Cooling System
  • 40nm Processor Technology
  • Advanced cooler design, High performance, Low RPM cooler
  • Low profile design
  • Native HDMI & HDMI 1.3a support
  • integrated Audio for HDMI

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Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Sparkle Computer
  • Model Number: SFPC84GS256U2LP
  • Item Package Quantity: 1
  • Graphics Coprocessor: NVIDIA
  • Graphics Card Ram: 256.0 MB
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Product Description

Next-generation gaming has arrived. Sparkle GeForce 8400GS 256MB DDR3 gives your games an adrenaline shot with incredible performance and futuristic, visually-stunning graphics. Experience heart-pounding, cinematic visuals on your favorite games with the combined power of DirectX 10, CUDA™, and NVIDIA® PhysX® technologies. And expand your visual real estate across three HD displays in jaw-dropping stereoscopic 3D for the ultimate in immersive gaming.

Product Information

Product Dimensions 8.2 x 2.5 x 12 inches
Item Weight 12.3 ounces
Shipping Weight 12 ounces
ASIN B001G6QDLM
Item model number SFPC84GS256U2LP
Customer Reviews
3.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #2,154 in Electronics > Computers & Accessories > Computer Components > Graphics Cards
Date first available at Amazon.com September 16, 2008

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Terrance VINE VOICE on October 3, 2010
Verified Purchase
I decided to go with the Sparkle 8400GS PCI because a relative of mine bought a wide-screen LCD monitor, but didn't realize that their computer did not support them. (The SIS 661 chipset is infamous for having issues with 1440x900...while the desktop was still visible, the 4:3 output was upscaled and stretched to fit the monitor's 16:10 and caused people to look short and fat in pictures, etc.)

Since the computer was only used for email, looking at pictures, and general surfing, I figured that by adding more RAM and upgrading the graphics card, the machine's service life could be extended by several years. With a long-term solution in mind, I went with a fanless card since it's entirely maintenance-free. Also, I went with the 256MB over the 512MB/1GB models since there was no added benefit in my application. Overall, the card's been perfect and installed without any drama ~ basically I uninstalled the existing display drivers, popped in the new card, and installed the nVidia drivers.

For the more technical minded:
1) The 8400GS GPU is natively PCIe, so for these PCI editions, a bridge chip is employed. This bridge chip presents itself as a first generation PCIe x1 connection, but that is already more bandwidth than what the PCI bus will carry. What this means is that the PCI 8400GS is actually bottlenecked by the PCI bus and will have measurably inferior performance when compared to the PCIe version. (This also implies that getting a much more powerful GPU for the PCI bus is overkill since it will also be bottlenecked!)
2) There are actually two versions of the 8400GS: there is the original G86 version which has been discontinued, and the current G98. The G86 has 16 SP's for dramatically better 3D performance but has limited HD video acceleration support.
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Keep in mind that this card's heat sink (probably because it avoid using a fan) requires two PCI slot widths. Check that your system has space before you buy it.
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I purchased this for a dual monitor setup and am quite happy with the results. The installation was smooth and fairly simple. I was up and running in minutes. I don't need fast graphics for gaming. I just use it for music recording, and it completely satisfies my hopes. The only thing to keep in mind is that the card's heat sink is slightly wide. In my case, the card was too wide to fit next to my PCI audio card. So I swapped PCI slots and all was fine. Would recommend.
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I bought this card to install in a PC that only has PCI slots (no AGP and no PCIe). The PC runs Ubuntu 10.10. Ubuntu had no problem finding the card. And it uses the card's hardware acceleration for full screen video display. I'm very happy with the performance of this card.
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This is NOT a gamer's card. It is a Home Theater card. It is, I believe, the lowest level NVidia Card that can work with Adobe Flash Player 10.2+ to decode Flash files such as shown on YouTube, Hulu, etc. reducing the CPU load dramatically Note that it is passively cooled (no fan) and so is silent. At full tilt, the heat is reasonably low. In all, a good buy for and old PC.
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Obviously, this is not a video card for current machines. Nor is it anything you'd buy to play any of the current crop of video games. But if you're trying to prolong the life of old (e.g. circa Socket-438) hardware, this may be just the ticket. It's good enough to play HD video at full resolution without frame dropping, which would be utterly impossible using typical on-board video chips (845 & 945) of that vintage. Keep your expectations modest however because the PCI bus itself is a serious limiting factor in what you can accomplish with this. IOW, if you have an alternative, such as AGP for a few more $$, go that way if you're thinking of any moderately demanding uses. Either way, if you're replacing onboard video with this (and the BIOS allows you to disable the onboard hardware) you can expect to free-up the system memory previously dedicated to video, which is also a good thing on these older RAM-limited machines.

The other life-saving purpose of this is to use to boot a machine that has non-specific video problems. Since nearly all motherboards have a PCI slot, including a high percentage of new designs, you can use this to get workable video for troubleshooting purposes.

The icing on the cake is the HDMI output, allowing you to display whatever is going on in your ancient machine on your 70" Samsung.

Technically, installation is a breeze. Nvidia is particularly good at supporting older hardware like this with its Unified Driver. I had no problems displaying BIOS setup or configuring it for Windows 7.
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Pros:
It can decode full HD (h264 1920x1080@24Hz) with subtitles.
HDMI audio supports up to 7.1 channels of uncompressed audio.

Cons:
It can NOT handle 16 reference frames.
Underscans (adds black borders all around) by default on the HDMI out (had to adjust this in the driver settings).
It was $15 more when I bought it a week and a half ago :(
It came with an S-Video cable... this card can't even use that!

This effectively turned an old HP with a 2.2GHz Celeron into a HTPC... with limitations... It can't handle 16 reference frames, but it can handle 8.
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